KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - An artist?s conception of the autonomous Demonstration for Autonomous Rendezvous (DART) spacecraft as it approaches the Multiple Paths, Beyond-Line-of-Site Communications (MUBLCOM) satellite. NASA is testing the DART as a docking system for next generation vehicles to guide spacecraft carrying cargo or equipment to the International Space Station, or retrieving or servicing satellites in orbit. Before the new system can be implemented on piloted spacecraft, it has to be tested in space. The computer-guided DART is equipped with an Advanced Video Guidance Sensor and a Global Positioning System that can receive signals from other spacecraft to allow DART to move within 330 feet of the target. DART is scheduled to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California no earlier than Oct. 18. It will be released from a Pegasus XL launch vehicle carried aloft by an Orbital Sciences Corporation aircraft. The fourth stage of the Pegasus rocket will remain attached as an integral part of the spacecraft, allowing it to maneuver in space. Once in orbit, DART will race toward the target, the MUBLCOM satellite, for a rendezvous.